Suns must finally get realistic

DEAN Solomon nailed one thing on Saturday night when he said only hard work would fix the Suns’ problems.

He said they were building a game plan based on hard work, not talent.

Finally someone within the Suns is being realistic — because the talent simply doesn’t exist to the level people assume.

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There is no doubt the Suns have underachieved. Finals were realistic at the start of the year. But I don’t see a premiership list there.

Sacking Rodney Eade alone isn’t going to solve everything.

The messaging out of the club is part of the problem. Chairman Tony Cochrane spoke last week of the expectation for finals.

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Former Gold Coast coach Rodney Eade.Source:AAP

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Gold Coast chairman Tony Cochrane.Source:Getty Images

It was realistic when they entered the competition in 2011 to assume they would have featured in September by now.

But the start-up concessions no longer have any bearing on the discussion. There is every chance Tom Lynch, Steven May, Sam Day, Rory Thompson and David Swallow will be the only 2010 draftees and special access selections left next year.

Of the recruits, Jarrod Harbrow stays while the jury is out on Gary Ablett and Michael Rischitelli.

To expect them to make the finals next year from where they are at the moment is handing the new coach a poisoned chalice.

Let’s be realistic, they lost to the last-placed Lions by 58 points.

Cochrane built the new training base and his legacy is assured. Much like the work Eade did on the culture problems will not be forgotten.

But it is time he took a back seat. The Suns can’t allow their chairman to hijack the critical end-of-season trade period like he did last year. And he must stay out of the Ablett decision.

A new coach gives a club clean air and buys the chance to reboot, unless they make finals an expectation, and any discussion on Gaz must look beyond next year.

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Gary Ablett is unlikely to be at the Suns next season.Source:Getty Images

List manager Scott Clayton will ultimately be judged on his drafting, but he must remain in place to steer the club though this year’s post-season meat market.

Clayton has always had a gun to his head during trade period by the demands of desperate coaches or chairmen, and even the AFL, to bring in experience and mature bodies.

Very few have taken the club forward.

His brief should be to bring in the talent that gives the new coach the best chance at a premiership, not sneaking into the eight next year and topping out there.

For much of QClash history, Brisbane have attempted to turn the derbies into scraps because they feared the superior talent on the Suns’ list if the game was opened up.

They didn’t bother on Saturday night because they finally believe they have more talent.

Originally published as Suns must finally get realistic

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